Hitchhiking migrant worker Ralph Parry is killed by a blow on the head, but a staged automobile crash makes the death appear accidental. When an autopsy of Parry's body reveals that the death was actually a homicide, Dan Mathews and his officers investigate further. They learn that several other migrant workers have recently died in similar "accidents" and that they all had life insurance claims paid to mysterious beneficiaries that got their mail at Hutkins' Country Store. Hutkins repeatedly attempts to divert suspicion toward ex-con Hank Willis, but Dan knows that Willis is not the guilty party. He sets a trap in order to prove that Hutkins is guilty of multiple murders to perpetrate insurance fraud. Written by
This episode is somewhat unique inasmuch as the patrol car used by Dan Mathews and Officer Garvey is a Ford with the warning lights mounted on the roof. The substantial majority of patrol cars used in this series were "premium" makes (such as Buick, Oldsmobile, Mercury, or Dodge) with the warning lights mounted on the side and/or on the rear shelf of the passenger compartment. See more »
The mystery driver in the opening scene is driving a '39 or '40 Ford convertible. The shot of it going over the cliff is of a car from the late-1920s or early-1930s. See more »
The careless driver isn't driving his car - he's aiming it! This is Broderick Crawford - see you next week.
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This episode rings all too true. Maybe because it's a plot device that has been used by other television shows. A migrant fruit picker is found dead and it is first thought to be an accident but is later proved to be murder. Checking into similar recent deaths it is discovered that there are other suspicious deaths and the one thing all the victims had in common other than being migrant workers (and thus wouldn't be missed) is that each had a small insurance policy. Suspicion falls on a violent man who has done jail time for assault. It was interesting that the proof as to whether or not this man was innocent revolved around the fact that he learned to drive in a car with automatic transmission. Probably relatively few people know how to drive a standard shift anymore, something that in the 1950s was - uh, standard. All in all, a pretty good episode with another repeat reminder: "The careless driver isn't driving his car, he's aiming it."
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